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Principal Nadia Lopez encourages K12 teachers to engage with students

Two innovations: credentialing system for aspiring instructors, program to help young adults finish their education
Principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn, New York, Nadia Lopez, uses innovative methods to help students become more successful and help K12 instructors teach more effectively.
Principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn, New York, Nadia Lopez, uses innovative methods to help students become more successful and help K12 instructors teach more effectively.

Nadia Lopez, principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn, New York, helps students become more successful in school and helps instructors teach more effectively using innovative teaching methods and field trips.

For example, Lopez has taken instructors through the housing developments in the community to see what unemployment and poverty look like—men and women on the streets with nothing to do.

Lopez says it encourages teachers to engage with their students by listening more.

Brent Stephens, of San Francisco USD, will oversee a new program for aspiring teachers. As chief academic officer of Pathway to Teaching, he will ensure paraprofessionals, substitute teachers and after-school service providers interested in being teachers are recruited.

Pathway to Teaching is a one-year credentialing program that trains new teachers. Participants will lead their own classrooms with coaching from an expert teacher. The most successful participants will be offered a job and two years of coaching and support.

Alicia Geddis, superintendent of Danville District in Illinois, has developed the Phoenix Program, which helps young adults who have dropped out of high school finish their education, earn a college certificate, and learn job skills. Students enrolled in the two-year program earn their GED.

Other benefits include gaining 11 college credit hours and receiving a shop safety certificate. The program is a partnership with the Danville Area Community College adult ed division.